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Blaze and Blade Review
2000-03-16 Staff

"I'm sure the Good Lord has made a note of all this in The Book of Life and will punish you unrelentingly for all eternity after you die and go to Hell."

That's a quote from famous Weekly World News advice columnist Dotti responding to a man who went to church drunk, cured a wicked case of cotton mouth by drinking all the holy water, then refilled the font from a toilet.  But I think it's equally applicable to everyone involved with creating and then deciding to charge money for Blaze and Blade.

Erik and I take our reviewing duties seriously.  Every game we review we've played for at least a hundred hours.  We only spent five minutes with Blaze and Blade, but that's at least four more minutes than the developers must have spent writing it.   We'd like to thank whoever programmed the Blaze and Blade uninstaller, because it works, and we'd also like to publicly apologize to Mortyr:  We're sorry, baby.   We don't know what we were thinking.  When we said playing you was like swallowing a Dixie cup full of fishhooks, we had yet to experience Blaze and Blade, which we've taken the liberty of subtitling "the blurry, flickering headache game."

Unfortunately, that kind of attitude may make the old man happy but it doesn't pay the bills.  Developer love fests are what puts asses in seats, which is insider industry lingo for selling games.  And selling both games and advertising is what pays our salaries.  While our patrons at UGO and Rivalworks have never come right out and said it, there has always been an implied prime directive: "Lie."

For Blaze and Blade the hints stopped being subtle.  To make sure there was no mistake, they sent former teen heartthrob Jason Priestly over to our office to make an impassioned plea for fake praise of Blaze & Blade.   Priestley has sunk all of his 90210 profits into the game.  According to Jason, he wanted to make an interactive adventure that encompassed his set of values, such as his optimistic belief in the power of medieval triumphancy, and was created with the same attention to quality and detail that his acting career is known for, while at the same time being very blurry and, if possible, also flickery.  Being famous celebrities ourselves, we immediately agreed to all his requests.  We would come up with 10 good points about Blaze & Blade in our review.  So here we go:

The previously mentioned uninstaller is one.  Nice job on that.

On the opposite end, the install was the quickest we've seen in a game this year.   The entire process took under a minute, which provided us the opportunity to quickly jump into the excellent uninstalling phase.

The game takes up very little disk space; weighing in at only 4.3 mb.  It's small enough that you could potentially just leave it on your system and keep it running when you're not home to scare away burglars.  Though you'll probably want to uninstall it at least once just for the simple pleasure of it.

The game asks you every time you play to remind it of your screen size and video card.   What a great way to always remember your favorite settings!

The graphics recall early NES adventure games, and like those fond memories, everything is sort of indistinct and blurry.  The graphics also remind us of Seanbaby's 20 Worst Nintendo Games of All Time, and that makes us laugh.

The opening titles contain lots of misspelled words, which lets us feel superior to everyone involved in creating, QAing, and publishing Blaze and Blade.

The monsters all fight the same way and the graphics make it impossible to tell them apart, which saves you hours of memorizing monster names and tactics.

No complicated strategy is needed when setting up your party, saving you from having to think too hard.  Party members tend to just follow you single file and randomly attack during a battle.  Your magic users save up all their magic points by not using any attack or heal spells during battle, which is probably some kind of good lesson for kids.  Say a kid wanted to spend all his allowance on sneakers that have lights on them.  You could remind him that the magic user in Blaze and Blade didn't use any of his magic points even though you were getting fucking killed by the monster, the one that looked like the blurry, flickering brown cube.  A kid might interperet that to mean that you're threatening to hit him, or worse yet, make him play Blaze and Blade, and he might just give you back his allowance money.  You could eventually recoup the cost of the game, and maybe even make a little extra money.  So it's actually more like having a second job, but a fun job where you get to scare kids.

Erik points out that, if not for Blaze and Blade, he would never have met Jason Priestley.

Say you prayed to God for a game that was "just like that awful NES title, Super Hydlide, but not nearly as good."  Well, guess whose prayers have been answered?

As a special treat, we've decided to document our entire five minutes of Blaze and Blade through screenshots.

Here's the install screen.  What does that alien have to do with Blaze and Blade?  You'd have to ask someone who played it longer than we did, which means there's nobody who knows.  Note that you can play the game in German, which would make the whole experience sort of like you were being tortured by the Gestapo.

Erik, I mean Bakq, and I both agreed that if it's forbidden we probably just shouldn't go there.  I mean, we're new in town, so why rock the boat?  One point of interest is that my character, Dejo, is a Dwarf but is just as tall as every other character in the game.  Bakq's explanation is that I'm part of a race of giant dwarves.

Then the old guy told us that nobody goes there.  You don't have to twist my giant dwarf arm - I'm staying right here with everyone else.  "Yeah, I ain't gonna get killed just to prove a point," said Bakq.

Defeat a demon?  Jesus, I'm no hero.  Dude, this guy's a savage fighter, and he says nobody can do it.  Thank God we didn't march out there without talking to this guy.  "That's right, man.  We'd be dead for sure." said Bakq.  "Completely.  I'm totally serious," I said.

Tell ya what, Isaac, we're not even goin'.  How's that for turning back?   Sounds like there's some dangerous, spooky shit goin on out there at those catacombs.  You see that cross-eyed, savage lookin motherfucker over there?   That's a savage fighter!  And he's too scared to go!  And I just wanted some drinks anyway and you might not be able to tell from how tall I am, but I'm just a dwarf, and Bakq here is too scared even to drink.  "Shut up, man," said Bakq.

What do I look like, Jason and The Argonauts?  What do you want me to do?   I'm a giant dwarf - a freak!  Allright, I'll deliver the mail.  Give it to me.  I'm not drunk.  Give me the mail...  Okay, now the mail's all over the floor.  Happy now, postman?  Get your hands off me Bakq.  Fine, we're not playing this anymore because you're too chickenshit, and that's going into the review...  What are you crying now?  That's going in too.

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